‘[Rogoyska] vividly recreates the last months of the officers – artists, scientists, engineers and poets as well as career military men – who were initially held at three special camps run by the NKVD.’
– Sunday Times
‘A gripping reconstruction of one of the most gruesome and haunting crimes of the Second World War… makes for utterly compelling reading, and lays bare its toxic legacy.’
– Adam Zamoyski, author of Poland: A History
‘This is a grim story, thoroughly researched and brilliantly told.’
– Geoffrey Alderman, Times Higher Education
‘In a riveting narrative, Rogoyska brings the victims out of the shadows, telling their stories as well as those of the people desperately searching for them. Throughout, the author’s humanity is on full display… Rogoyska is to be commended for resurrecting this heartbreaking tale. A work of significant moral clarity and elegant precision.’
– Kirkus, starred review
‘A well-researched and beautifully written narrative of the appalling fate of the Polish officers captured by the Soviets in 1939 and massacred in 1940. Through the testimony of the few survivors and the investigators, Rogoyska brings to life the suffering of the Poles which continued for decades after the war as Soviet culpability for the crime was denied across the world.’
– Halik Kochanski, author of The Eagle Unbowed
One Second World War crime to escape judgment at the Nuremberg Trials was the massacre of thousands of Polish officers in the Katyn Forest in western Russia at the early stage of the war. The judges failed because, on their panel, they had the representatives of the perpetrator: the Soviet Union.
Jane Rogoyska offers a riveting story of the crime, the cover-up and the search for the truth, which is far from over even today. In bringing the story of Katyn up to date, Rogoyska helps us understand not only the crimes of the past but also the political manipulations of the present.
– Serhii Plokhy, the author of Chernobyl and Forgotten Bastards of the Eastern Front: An Untold Story
'If you don't understand Katyn you don't understand the Second World War, you don't understand Europe, you don't understand crime and you don't understand lies. And you can't understand Katyn without reading this brilliant book. It is, I'm afraid, as simple as that.'
– Daniel Finkelstein, Times columnist
‘Surviving Katyn is a pivotal contribution. Readers seeking to understand the plight of Poles during the Second World War, or come to terms with the duplicity and cruelty of Stalin and his NKVD, or submerge themselves in a rich and humane story of hope, suffering, and deceit, will find much of value in Surviving Katyn. With the empathy of a novelist and the precision of a historian, Rogoyska unfolds the story of Katyn.’
– American Conservative
‘Rogoyska’s study of men under extreme pressure draws out the nuances of these dilemmas, presenting us with ordinary people confronting their own doubts and fears.’
– Times Literary Supplement
‘A history book that makes the blood run cold.’
– Five Books